Final reminder to Abdullah – don’t dissolve Parliament before Pai Tian Gong/Chap Goh Mei

I have this morning sent an urgent email to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi giving him a final reminder that dissolving Parliament and kicking off the 12th general election campaign on 13th February or before Chap Goh Mei on 21st February would be the worst example of insensitivity for the diverse cultures and religions in Malaysia after the offense and insensitivity in holding the Umno General Assembly during Deepavali last November.

According the Star online report last night, the Prime Minister said in Butteworth that the dissolution of Parliament on Feb. 13 is a possibility.

I also wish to give a final reminder to the MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, the Acting Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and the SUPP President Tan Sri Dr. George Chan that the onus is on them to impress on the onAbdullah to be sensitive and respect the 15-day Chinese New Year festivities and that the insensitivity shown by the Umno national leadership to the Deepavali public holiday last November should not be repeated again.

I am most shocked that Abdullah has not publicly ruled out the possibility of dissolving Parliament on Feb. 13, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year. As a Penangite, Abdullah should know that the dissolution of Parliament on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year would be doubly offensive and insensitive – as it will not only be a disrespect to the Chinese New Year celebrations but also to Pai Tian Gong which falls on the 9th day of the Lunar New Year, the birthday of the Jade Emperor and a major event for the Hokkiens in Penang.

If Abdullah dissolves Parliament before Chap Goh Mei, utterly insensitive for the Pai Tiang Gong and 15-day Chinese New Year celebrations, it will become the best proof in the 12th general election of the hardening of insensitivity and disrespect to diverse cultures and religions in the country in the past 51 months of the Abdullah premiership – the reason why there is an alarming rise of the breed of Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons (LMNs) in the public service resulting in polarizing incidents like body-snatching, bible-banning and temple demolitions.

Nobody questions or challenges the prerogative of the Prime Minister to decide on when to advise the King to dissolve Parliament, but this prerogative must be subject to two caveats:

If the dissolution of Parliament is after Chap Goh Mei, a hot set of dates being speculated are dissolution on 22nd February, Nomination on 27th February or March 1s with Polling on 8th March, 2008.

(i) respect and sensitivity to the diverse religions, cultures and customs in the country, which means no spoiling the spirit and mood of the 15-day Chinese New Year from the 1st day of CNY to Chap Goh Mei (7 to 21 February 2008).
(ii) Respect the ethics of a free and fair general election and abide by the best international practices particularly of first-world developed nations in conducting elections.

A quick survey of the most recent electoral practices in first-world developed nations which Malaysia aspires to join under Vision 2020 is the common best practice where at their voters are given at least one clear month’s notice between dissolution of Parliament and polling – like United Kingdom (one month), Australia (40 days), New Zealand (54 days) and Canada (55 days).

Horror of horrors, President Robert Mugabe has given 64 days’ notice for presidential, general and local elections in Zimbabwe on March 29, 2008!

Even if Abdullah cannot best United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in terms of fair and proper notice for the holding of general election, is he to go down in history as doing even worse than Mugabe of Zimbabwe by having the shortest period for free, fair and clean election campaign for a general election among Commonwealth countries?

The least Abdullah should do is to ensure that there is at least one full month between the date of dissolution of Parliament and Polling Day. If Parliament is to be dissolved on Feb. 22, polling day should not be held earlier than March 21 – which will give Abdullah ample time to attend the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit in Dakar from March 13-14 for the handing over of the OIC Chairmanship from Malaysia to Senegal.

Or is Abdullah mortally afraid that the Barisan Nasional would suffer very adverse electoral results if the 12th general election is held after mid-March?

The first general election conducted by Abdullah in 2004 was even more unfair and undemocratic than all the five general elections conducted during Tun Dr. Mahathir’s 22 years as Prime Minister from 1981-2003, as it provided for a 71/2-day campaign period between Nomination and Polling which is even shorter than nine-day campaign period in the 1999 general election, one of the “dirtiest” general elections in the eleven national general elections held since independence in 1957.

No wonder Tun Dr. Mahathir recently predicted that the next general election would be the dirtiest in Malaysian history.

Is Abdullah prepared to ensure that the 12th general election will be the most free, fair and clean than anyone conducted by Tun Dr. Mahathir in his 22 years of premiership?

In the 1982 general election, the first conducted by Tun Dr. Mahathir, Parliament was dissolved on 21st March 1982, Nomination was on 7th April 1982 and Polling on 22nd April 1982 – i.e. 15-day campaign period between Nomination and Polling while there were 32-day span between Parliament’s dissolution and Polling Day.

Can Abdullah do better than Mahathir in providing at least one month notice between dissolution of Parliament and Polling or he could only do worse than his predecessor?

(Speech at the opening of the Canning (Ipoh Timur) election operation centre at Kampung Simee, Ipoh on Monday, 11th February 2008 at 10.30 am)

  1. #1 by St0rmFury on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 3:46 pm

    Let the man do what he wants. Its the voters who will decide the outcome of his actions.

  2. #2 by Libra2 on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 4:01 pm

    Let him dissolve Parliament and annoy the Chinese. Don’t you think DAP will benefit from this wrath?
    Please don’t ask MCA and Gerakan to do anything about it. They are nothing beyond UMNO’s eunuchs.

  3. #3 by Thegame on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 4:43 pm

    Yes..LKS is right to issue a final reminder to the PM.He represents the rakyat and he has spoken on behalf of the rakyat.LkS is precise and spot on in his dealing with the PM unlike our current chief minister of Penang.Thats the way to go.

  4. #4 by voice on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 5:06 pm

    Sending email to him? Does he know how to read e-mail?
    I expect no response from him.

  5. #5 by gofortruth on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 5:22 pm

    13th Feb is the 7th day of the auspicious Chinese New year and is commonly known as the day of man – “REN”(to all cantonese & Hakka). This is a day when Chinese take time to reflect on their inter personal relationships with others and resolute to be a better & wiser person or “Ren”.

    The day is heavily punctuated with activities of eating “Yi Sang” at the restaurants with family & friends & business associates signifying & wishing a properous year ahead for everyone. This being the first wise act of inter personal relationship bonding before Chinese return to their work places on the 8th day to begin a brand new working year.
    Even though I’m a Christian that appreciates that everyday is new & God’s gift to us, I have learnt to treasure this day of “REN” because it speaks so much about the love of God, to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    It will be utter great shame & insensitive of gomen to show total disrespect to this great day of Chinese culture if they bulldoze their way & choose to dissolve the Parliament on this day.

  6. #6 by gofortruth on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 5:28 pm

  7. #7 by Jimm on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 5:45 pm

    Just let it come …
    Face the truth and the truth will set us free………..
    BN will cheat again in this GE as the ELITE group cannot afford to be exposed of their wrong doings …
    Anyway, Malaysia are still rich with natural resources for them to keep their vested interest in politics.
    It’s just a piece of land to them as they have many lands else where.
    We ? just numbers only.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 5:54 pm

    Who is LKS to remind AAB not to dissolve Parliament on 13th February or before Chap Goh Mei on 21st February?

    AAB listens to his wind water guy (feng shui low) and his large ears are flapping now. He does not worry/care whether it is Valentine’s Day, Chap Goh Mei, Deepavali, or what have you. He knows his destiny is in his hands. Dissolve, dissolve, dissolve.

  9. #9 by ChinNA on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 6:18 pm

    To Mr Lim Kit Siang,
    This is what I think: It does not really matter when the dates are as long as there is sufficient window to campaign and make the respective parties’ manifesto known to the electorate.

    However, doing as suggested by you, would be a nice gesture.

    But why expand too much energy on these dates? Time short. The message need to reach the electorate. That is the beef, in my opinion.

    Of course, others may disagree and I respect that.

  10. #10 by chrishan on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 6:51 pm

    I was thinking about this coming election and the way this government is trying to have it as short time as possible.
    Is it possible to have legal class action against the election commission or the government for allowing the election to be held in short period? This is especially for the overseas malaysians who
    may not have the opportunity to comeback to vote in malaysia due to
    unavailable of airtickets etc.

  11. #11 by fido on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 7:21 pm

    Pls focus on WINNING BIG TIME (2/3 defeat only is NOT enough), not all these nitty gritty of choosing dates etc.

  12. #12 by mobileworld on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 7:56 pm

    E-Mail AAB? Next time if you need some response, plse email it to KJ. At least your inbox will get a reply that the message is read. To AAB, the only response is ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

  13. #13 by grace on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 8:43 pm

    I agree that MR Lim should not wrn them against dissolving the parliament at this point in time.
    Let us see how the Chinese Community will react! If they have pride, they should not vote BN at all!
    Similarly the Indians after the show of disrespect for Deepavali should show them that your votes count even though a small number.

  14. #14 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 12:09 am

    You don’t get it. The Hadhari fellow strongly BELIEVES in feng shui.

    He is told his lucky number is 13 so anything 13 is very favourable for him.

    So he dissolves parliament on 13th February. Election day 1.3 (1st March). Number of days all in is 13 days from Feb 13 to 1st March.
    He wins big time. Landslide. Get it? Landslide.

    So what is the Opposition going to do?

    You have feng shui master too? Maybe you can also get something to offset his good fortune?

    Or are you panicking because he has good fortune on his side?

  15. #15 by hiro on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 12:27 am

    I suppose it would be fair for me to say that everyone here has at least 10 friends who are marginally political? Well, we know that BN will not give the opposition any chance to have a prolonged campaign period that will only benefit the opposition and wear down any advantage that BN has. So it’s up to us netizens to make an impact, by spreading the message to some of our friends, with the hope that they too will spread the message to another 10 of their friends.

    Caveat though, we don’t want to be insensitive. Some people just won’t be receptive because like religion, their minds may already be made up on politics. But try we must, ever so patiently and gently.

    It would also help if DAP leaders have their speeches recorded and posted on YouTube for all to share.

  16. #16 by AhPek on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 1:52 am

    YB KIT,

    You are a wizard. I can almost tell that AAB will up his 2 fingers at you and say “Kit Siang, who are are to tell me how to do my job?”.
    Mark my words, he will declare dissolution of Parliment on the 13th Feb 2008 more so because you have warned him not to.
    What a brilliant move!!That declaration is going to turn big bonus for DAP.

  17. #17 by BlackEye on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 3:19 am

    Yes, damn if he does, damn if he doesn’t.

  18. #18 by caishen on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 9:12 am

    YB LKS,
    You are the TIGER of Malaysia!!
    Caishen predicts a landslide victorys in every major cities!!

    Whether they are dissolving the Parliment tomorrow or Chap Go May, we know YB and Co ARE not bother and worry at all.

    LKS can smell what is ……………..cookinggg!!

  19. #19 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 9:26 am

    Malaysians must not harbour racial prejudice in their hearts, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

    But AAB believes that racial political parties (like Umno, MCA, MIC, etc.) and politics (like NEP) and raising of unsheathed keris by Malays to threaten non-Malays are perfectly OK.

    Does AAB have any principle?

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 9:36 am

    “We need a big mandate (more than a two-thirds majority) to enable us to manage the country more effectively and provide continued development for the people,” said Merbok MP Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin.

    Ha, ha – Did he mean: a big mandate (more than a two-thirds majority) to enable us (Umnoputras and their gang of thieves) to jiat/wallop big time? to enable us (Umnoputras and their gang of thieves) to be like Selangor assemblyman Abang Zakaria @ Zainal Mat Deros?

  21. #21 by KanNinNeh on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 9:45 am

    DAP need to have a Strategy for a War and only a Battle !

  22. #22 by KanNinNeh on Tuesday, 12 February 2008 - 9:48 am

    Should be “not only a Battle” !

  23. #23 by NotProudToBeMalaysian on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 - 5:35 pm

    I truly agree with Tun that the next general election will be the dirtiest of all. What strategy the opposition makes would’nt change things for good. Malaysia is democratic by name but not in reality.
    We have no freedom in speech not like in the western country.
    In the western country, every one have the right to criticise the goverment or their leaders. In Malaysia, we will be put in the ISA if we will to criticise. Thinking that the next general election will turn things around?
    Forget it!!!
    Malaysian, especially the Chinese are selfish and easily tempted.
    Before election, they will complain and during election they will say the MCA are their defenders.
    Even the media are not fair enough.
    Seems that the opposition party are fighting a losing war everytime. I never vote anymore because it’s just a watse of time!

  24. #24 by rajanjohn on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 - 6:25 pm

    AAB = Ahmad Amat Bodoh?

  25. #25 by nclee on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 - 6:50 pm



  26. #26 by negarawan on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 - 10:52 pm

    Look, if UMNO does not care about body snatching of non-muslims any burying them in muslim cemetery against the wishes of family members, why would they care about non-muslim sensitivities. In UMNO’s eyes, the non-malays are “disposable”. They do nothing for non-malays and only make empty promises and lies a few weeks before GE to entice non-malay votes. Let’s not fall prey to UMNO’s tricks and dishonesties. Let’s vote UMNO and BN out!

  27. #27 by nclee on Thursday, 14 February 2008 - 11:10 am

    then fight UMNO candidates, not only fighting MCA or Gerakan while giving up seats to KEADILAN.

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